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A Powerful Direction

Chances are you've heard the terms virtualization, POWER* technology and on demand a lot lately. To understand what customers can expect from these IBM* initiatives, eServer Magazine talked with Adalio Sanchez, general manager, IBM eServer pSeries*, IBM Systems and Technology Group.

Q: How does Power Everywhere* fit into the IBM open-computing strategy?

A: IBM Power Everywhere is among the first efforts to bring the principles of a community to the world of hardware. And we're doing that very carefully. We're focusing on the particular hardware element--namely, core IBM Power Architecture* technology--that has to remain consistent. The core of Power Architecture technology must be managed very carefully to make sure the IBM POWER family remains exactly that, a family. But around that POWER core there's tremendous latitude for all sorts of developers to innovate. That's why we're open to collaboration across the IT industry.

Q: Why is the combination of Linux* and POWER such an inflection point in the marketplace, and how significant is the IBM eServer OpenPower* platform for clients?

A: This is all about innovation. But it's much bigger than just innovation at IBM. It's about fostering collaborative innovation in the marketplace by enlisting the efforts, imagination and energies of the vast community of people we work with. Power Everywhere and our POWER5*-based OpenPower offerings tuned for Linux are about collaborating with key players across the industry as a community of innovators at either the POWER level or at the level of the applications that POWER supports. And we expect that opening POWER to the minds and imaginations of others in the industry will produce many new applications.

The reason that Linux is so important is because it opens up IBM eServer to many more people. It won't be just IBM itself doing the design and bringing it to market. We're enlisting an increasingly large ecosystem to create new applications and opportunities for IBM eServer by enhancing it for traditional markets, but most importantly, taking it to new frontiers.

Q: What does IBM hope to help clients achieve with the IBM eServer OpenPower offerings?

A: It's pretty simple. We hope that OpenPower allows our clients to get the most attractive performance with all of the capabilities of a very sophisticated Power architecture, including virtualization and all of the innovation that we expect to emerge as a result of the Power Everywhere initiative. More than that, we hope--because of the economies of scale--to bring tremendous performance to them essentially at the prices associated with high-volume production, that is to say, very affordable prices.

That way, IBM clients will be able to build sophisticated applications and use them in many different places. This combination of attractive price performance with sophisticated capabilities is what Power Everywhere is all about. And keep in mind, OpenPower and Linux are complementary with IBM eServer p5 and AIX* 5L. With eServer, clients get the best of both worlds--a strategic UNIX* in AIX 5L that IBM continues to invest in extensively as our eServer p5 platform for innovation, and an open-based, tuned for Linux OpenPower platform to implement where appropriate--all on the Power Architecture.

Michelle Carlson is a former editor for IBM Systems Magazine.

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